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Showing posts from 2013

Witness protection

I'm getting a little manic, which often means some very odd thoughts. 

I was thinking today, we would do terribly in witness protection.  Can you imagine our marshall?  "No Bible Handouts.  No evangelism.  No testimony.  Don't talk about Houston."   How do you hide Ron?  How many half-paralyzed, totally blind Creoles in the nation?

All we know is vending, really, but I doubt they'd let us do that.  They'd probably stick us in some frozen hell-hole up north (remember, anything under 70 is "freezing" to us). 

I doubt we'd last long.

Not much!

Sorry, pet peeve of mine, people who assume we "make a lot of money". No.  At our best we were still low income; these days "extremely low income/poverty".   My pay's down to $400 a month. 

That said, happily we are "house poor", sneaking in during the subprime rush, but our mortgage company has made plenty of money on our regular payments.  We throw in $20 a month towards principal, not as much as we'd like but better than nothing. 

As you know, last year we kept riding with an annoying woman who had known a VERY gossipy cab driver who used to give us rides back in 2002.  He assumed we made a lot of money, we didn't.  We were good tippers, though, so maybe it fed from that.  At any rate he gossiped about us to this woman who was just 1000% convinced we were wealthy, and "fronting" poor. 

Do you know how frustrating it is to try to convince someone you could get food stamps?   Especially when I live in a "nice" neighborh…

How much money do you think I make?

Good question.  Feel free to leave a reply. 

I'll give you some hints: self-employed, work part time.  One disability check in play for the both of us.

Migraine

Migraine today. I woke up around 3 to a drilling pain in my right temple, spreading down across my face and around the back of my head. 

I took some Excedrin, and opted not to shower just yet.  We had a trip to Walmart.  I did want to go. 

The Excedrin seemed to be helping, but when we got to Walmart I realized I'd made a bad choice.  I did manage to get some of the stuff I wanted. 

I really needed some laundry detergent.  I wanted something to brighten my clothes.  I found some throw in packs for that, about 60 cents each.  If I like them I might buy a bigger unit.  I also got some bleach tablets, I soaked my clothes in some water with a bleach tablet, then added detergent and ran a load.  The socks and all turned out fine, but the bras were pretty gross.  I also got some more of the Arm & Hammer packs.  Ron likes the fragrance and they do a good job. 

I got a long sleeved long underwear top to match my lovely fuzzy leggings (I wear them under jeans on really cold days).�…

Year in Review, 2013

I've decided to to the "Year in Review". 

Here are the other ones:
2008  http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2008/12/year-in-review-heather-style.html
2009  http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-year.html
2010  http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2010/12/year-in-review.html  (what a horrible, depressing year)
2011  [not available, I was depressed]
2012  http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2012/12/2012-year-in-review.html

First, I need to eat and take my pills.  I'm a lot more fragile than I'd like to admit.  OK, done that. 

Birthday party next door!  That should be interesting later on. 

Let's get to it:
January: I started out depressed but went to manic pretty quick.  Ron was still drinking to blackout stage on a regular basis and aggravating his neuropathy.  I passed some very large clots "the size of my thumb" during my cycle.  I have had this happen a few times in the last 20 years, and I always wonder if I had a miscarriage.  Battle…

Tremendous day

Ron and I like a little meal out now and then.  But, as he so elegantly says, "I don't want our money going down the toilet." 

Usually, we eat at home.  Sometimes, we go out to our favorite taqueria.  Ron suggested it the other day.  Now, the average meal out is about $20, but if we go to breakfast we can both eat for about $10.  I try to be thrifty, I suggested breakfast today. 

Ron had gone to the Christmas eve service.  He'll go next Sunday.  I'm happy with what I get, because it is a pretty long round trip. 

I have a church, a good one.  That's what matters. 

So, we went.  Our ride was late and it was her.  She's just a horrible, mean, woman.  Control freak and very dominating.  Thank God it was a short trip.  She is scary.  We last had her 2 months ago so that isn't bad.  My "boyfriend", an 80 year old former rodeo rider, was aboard, so I chatted about his horses. 

We went in to the taqueria, it was pretty packed.  We had a whole s…

God told me to do it

So, some updates.

My stalker issue is ongoing.  God convicted me on my relationship with a family member - she has a lot of issues and she needs to work on them. 

For instance, she's in a cult.  The Bible is really clear on false teachers and those who promote them:  don't tolerate them.  The cult also has some abusive recruitment. 

There are other issues I will not detail; but she has made some really bad decisions.  I can't just sit back and give my tacit approval.  I can't. 

So, I sent a letter (restating here for some), asking for no contact for 6 months.  God wanted me to cut off contact, but I didn't get a feel for how long.  6 months seemed long enough. 

I asked her to leave me alone for that period of time; deciding I would cut off all contact if she did not respect my wishes.  Someone made a good point "She may try to call just because this is a huge surprise, Heather."  Yeah, I got that.  She called a few times, went to voicemail.  Ron set u…

If we let Him

Oh, I'm tired. 

I got up early, hit the snooze and did my God Time later.  The bed was so warm, I had Torbie...

I did have to get up and shower, though.  My hair resembled a greasy nest. 

I got showered, deodorized, brushed, and groomed.  I watched a little weather and elected to wear my long underwear.  Hey, it gets cold waiting on Metrolift. 

Especially since they bulldozed our "bus stop".  Still irked about that. 

We went to the warehouse and bought drinks.  We took them to work and put them in the fridge, checked on the machines.  The bottle vendor appears to be working. 

I noted a few things I needed (but forgot the oatmeal cream pies!), and went back outside.  Back to the warehouse, more drinks, in the fridge. 

I loaded the cart with cold drinks and some snack items (turns out I needed 2 things I was sure I didn't), and went to our area (about a half mile walk).  I pushed it, got Ron his drinks, got my snacks. 

Every pastry item has to be tagged with a l…

"Let me put some pants on!"

"This is going on the blog" I warned Ron.  "You look like a flagellant, carrying that thing around your neck."  (The medieval flagellants used to carry heavy crosses on their back from town to town).  I plucked the folding chair from around his neck and put it on my cart. 

Ron protested, he could carry it.  "Yes, you can.  But what's the rule?" 

We recited together "Everything that goes wrong (with Ron) is (Heather's) fault!"  The other day, Ron had an unfortunate loss of balance outside the building while my back was turned and I got some evil looks.  I *should* have helped him, they said. 

Forget that Ron demanded to walk over there on his own; I didn't help him, he "fell", so it's my fault.  Once the crowd dispersed, I told him "Thank God you're not bleeding!"  [groan]  I'd never hear the end of it. 

It was an interesting day.  I didn't set my alarm, overslept.  I woke up when Ron did and ou…

The Fix

ODD start to the day. 

I don't even know how to explain it.  Apparently my stalker got one of her friends to put me on the CC list for text messages?  I got a copy of something, which I deleted of course. 

Ron found it hysterical that he was also on the text message list.  He was making jokes about naked picture messages.  God, I love that man.

Wierdness aside, and yet another number added to the block list, we move on to the rest of my day:  I woke up depressed, got the shower but not the God Time.  I got that before I got online. 

We went to the warehouse club and bought drinks, took them to work, Ron stocked the drinks.  I went with the "Flavor Mix" assortment of chips and stocked them.  I need some more of the larger chips, cream pies, etc.  I was glad I had brought a variety mix pastry, because I did need them. 

I want to be cautious buying inventory because sales generally crash across the building in January.  Things are different this year with the remodel, …

I'm not well

My illness generally has me running depressed on Christmas.  I'm used to that. 

Last night the neighbor kids, and adults, played soccer literally all night, against the side of my house, which is the property line.  I kept wondering if they were damaging my siding, if so how much, and how I'd get it repaired if they did. 

I decided, laying in bed, I would NOT allow the homeowner to repair it himself; but insist he pay someone else to do it.  1.  I don't know if he does good construction (this is a man who once wrapped his back porch in opaque plastic sheeting all winter).  and 2.  I think a hit in the wallet makes a better point. 

I decided I should inspect for damage. 

Clearly, I couldn't do it during the party.

I saw the whole family load up and leave, and I gave some serious consideration to doing my inspection (which is my right).  But I had a thought. 

"I'm not well right now."  I thought. 

I already feel miserable.  What if I do go out and fin…

I wanted this on top

Yes, you need footage of two brown tabby girls checking out an automatic water bowl. 

Baby Girl (I call her "Varms", short for "Varmint", in the video), was already drinking water out of it even before I turned it on. 

Torbie drank a huge amount, went and peed a lake in the little box, and is walking around looking very happy.  I think Baby Girl didn't want to perform on camera. 

If you watch, you'll see Torbie doesn't mind, as long as I pay her with plenty of treats.

Optimal mood control

Well, they didn't have a huge party with karaoke, they had a small party with drinking and lots of soccer, against the side of my house. 

I was lying in bed thinking to the father: "You're a father.  You want to raise your son to be, what?  I assume you want a responsible, respectful, considerate citizen.  However, you are teaching him to be...otherwise."  The oldest is 13.  [shrug] 

I'll move on from there.  However, I got about 4 hours sleep.  I'm not at "optimal mood control" today. 

It got better.  My sister (who I am henceforth renaming my biological stalker) borrowed someone's cell phone to send me a passive aggressive message.  I asked her to leave me alone.  She has not done so.  She has a lot more problems than I guessed. 

I'm glad I cut off contact.  I don't need that in my life.  I have too much crazy as it is - which would have made an excellent blog title. 

Feeling a little bug eyed from sleep deprivation, it got even b…

I don't drive

I wish I could find one of my old resumes.  Employers loved them. 

That is, of course, until they found out I don't drive.  That was it. 

Accounting, office work, you name it.  Even some light technical support.  I can do it, and do it well.  They always loved the line "Built my own computer".   

In my current job, I do accounting, office manager, filing, cash accountability, tax filings, repairs, inventory, stocking, merchandising, planogram, etc.  Not bad for a brain-damaged, "crazy" person. 

But I don't drive; if I wanted another job in vending I wouldn't get it. 

Today I was riding in Metrolift, as my husband's assistant, going through Northwest Houston, through areas not serviced by the bus line.  I saw business after business, places where I can never work. 

Why?  They're not on the bus line.  It's pretty depressing, actually.  I see all these signs for places hiring, places I can't go on my own.  Sucks to be me. 

I think th…

What is it with Christmas eve?

Last year we had Christmas eve dinner with a friend.  When we got there, we realized he was sick.  Too late to leave... we both got sick. 

This morning, our first driver kept hacking into his hands, and complaining about how sick he'd been last night, up with chills and fever, etc... "I feel terrible but I need the money!"

Thanks a lot!   Not to worry, he reassured us, he'd be taking 10 days off after this.  Thanks. 

I am praying I don't catch it.  According to the CDC, I'll know in 1 to 4 days.  On the plus side, we did make it through the Christmas season. 

We had 2 repairmen scheduled.  The bottled vendor repairman, for the dreaded V-40 - hated by ALL repairmen, never showed.  Thanks. 

That's 4 hours, and a possible flu exposure, I won't be getting back. 

If I were evil, and I did get sick, I'd go in and shake his hand when he does come.  But I won't. 

The other guy, our standard, did show.  He fixed the food machine and the snack mac…

A couple of hot dogs

We worked on Sunday, boy did we work. 

First, we went to Walmart and got some food.  Came home, put it up.  I didn't get much, mainly some greek yogurt with honey and some waffles for Christmas.  I thought that might be a nice breakfast. 

Ron got some snack foods, a couple of TV dinners, and probably cat treats.  After putting it away we went to the warehouse, bought a lot of soda, and then took it to work. 

I have to put it in the vehicle, then take it out and put it on the curb when we arrive.  After that, I get the cart, leaving Ron with the merchandise.  The cart has 2 bad wheels and our guy is "looking in the warehouse".  Then I loaded the sodas and chips onto the cart, and then took it in. 

Sometimes, if the cart isn't full, I "let" Ron ride on the top shelf.  It's a 3-shelf, steel "bus cart", about 3 and a half feet high.  He hops up there and the customers love to see him ride. 

"Can I get a ride?"
"Only if you mar…

Date night

Last night some neighbors had a party.  They have had some ongoing, very loud parties for a while.  Ron managed that one nicely by calling the police and the homeowner's association.  The HOA sent a letter to the tenant, and the landlord. 

This party it was obvious they were trying to keep it down.  I call that a win - the kids are pretty young and clearly not used to living in a decent neighborhood. 

I slept great, and woke up pretty tired.  Ron decided he didn't want to go to Walmart in the rain, so he cancelled the trip (OK if done more than an hour in advance).  We went back to bed. 

I slept as late as I could, about 10, and got up.  I was OK at first.  I did my God Time, didn't shower... some computer time.  Got pretty depressed, tried to nap, couldn't,  and decided I had better shower. 

Too many days off, depressed, sitting around with greasy hair.  My hair is very oily and I have to wash it daily.  I took the shower and even, sortof shaved my legs.  After th…

I love my husband

Sometimes I worry I present an imperfect picture.  You often hear about the bad deeds, the "failures", etc.... but what about the good things? 

I don't know - actually I do - God got into him.  Ron is incredibly appreciative now.  He can't say enough nice things - and he means it.  That is huge to me. 

"I can't run this business without you... I'd be lost without you." 
"Wow, you are so strong!" 
"Thank you for helping me"

It goes a long way towards making up for past "sins".  It's what I always wanted. 

I do my best to return the favor, but I could probably do a better job.  I make a point to thank him for paying the bills, etc., because that's his love language.  But, like I said, I can work on that. 

I hope I can always be used in conjunction with the word "teachable". 

Ron is also great about sacrificing personal time to travel with me.  I'm "on the bus".  Many things, however,…

Loved

Image
I am loved. 

That is really clear to me, today. 

I woke up with a migraine around 3 AM, fought it for a while (my faithful Torbie cat sleeping at my side in bed), gave up and took some fake exedrin at 5.  It abated a little, enough I could get out of bed without agony, go to the bathroom, and shower. 

I opted NOT to use anything scented on my face, and went with the unscented acne soap, instead.  I am hypersensitive to fragrance, and it hurts me, when I have a migraine.  Happily I also have unscented deodorant.   After my shower, I never use haircare products other than a ponytail holder. 

Ron and I talked for a little while, but decided: we had yesterday off.  Assured severe weather tomorrow.  We need sodas.  Had to work today. 

Ron didn't "make" me work, I chose to do it, because it is my business to and I want to be the best vendor.  He felt awful about it. 

First, though, we had to go to the bank and deposit the money for the property tax.  Goodbye, emergency f…

Dry mouth slayer

I may be depressed, but I still had a pretty good day today. 

I got up early and took my shower.  I looked at Torbie, lying so cute in the bed, and told her I'd be back.  My face has been kind of dry (for me, very unusual), so I used the Dove.  It's still a little dry. 

I'd hit the snooze button a few times so I had to wait on my God Time.  I got it later. 

First, Ron and I had a trip to Walmart.  While cleaning, I'd found 2 gift cards.  I thought maybe one of them might have some value, so I got them checked.  $20 I didn't know I had! 

That was pretty cool.  I haven't spent it yet, I'll wait until I find something awesome. 

Then, off to my shopping.  I hitched up my pants, again, and said "I'm getting a belt".  I went to the men's department and found a nice belt with grommets.  It was $10.  It works.  I'm happy. 

My body's at an in-between size, and my pants are sagging.  Well, they were. 

Ron needed a personal care item, …

Bible Handout update!

I never know who's getting a Bible.  God does, and it amazes me how He sends them. 

A good example, our ride to go to the handout location - almost an hour late.  BUT, as I walked out I met the garbage man.  I gave him a Bible.  The driver saw it, and wanted one.  I also gave one to the return trip driver. 

I got to the location and set up.  We worked about an hour. 

I had a lot of families in cars, everyone wanted a Bible.  Most were black, one hispanic, and one cajun (white french from Louisiana).  The last family grinned at me from the car as I handed everyone a Bible, and the father said they were the "Host" (?) family. 

I also had my favorite, gangbangers, covered in "tats", with gold teeth, eager to get their Free Bible!  I handed out several to them.  Always my favorites.  God's given me a huge heart for them. 

I had one white guy kind of gaping at me.  I went over and handed him one (he had the window down) and said "Now you've got you…

Minding my business

"Say no to crack!" my female driver shouted as I hitched up my jeans.  Yeah, that kind of day.  My jeans are pretty loose, but the smaller size is way too tight.  I need a belt. 

It started pretty early, we went into work and did an inventory.  The flaming hot cheetos are flaming hot.  I can barely keep them stocked.  I also reworked my planogram and decided to add some cookies, etc.  Ron is very supportive of my ideas, and nearly all of them have been popular. 

Years ago, one of my staples: the brownie bite cookie.  It was a nice small chocolately cookie with pecans.  They came in a 3 ounce bag.  I liked them a lot, but stopped eating them about 2005.  A few years ago, we stopped buying from the wholesale supply, so I stopped carrying them. 

We had a vending conference and one "hook" offered for hungry vendors was, you guessed it, the brownie bite cookie.  It has walnuts instead of pecans now, but when I ate it it was very insipid, hardly any nuts, and what I c…

I don't feel like I did much today

I'd say, most days I don't "feel" mentally ill.  Yeah, I have depression.  Yeah, I'm tired.  Yeah, my mind is foggy after I take my medication (I take it after work), dry mouth, blah blah. 

Today, I just feel mentally sick.  Depression.  Really irritable (I haven't chewed Ron though).  Exhausted.  Bad dreams when I took my nap.  Even Torbie woke me up banging around under the bed (after what?). 

The Bible says to focus on good things. 
Philippians 4:8
[ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

It is easy to say, "Yeah, but Paul never suffered from psychotic mental illness and horrid depressions."  Then I ask myself, how do I know that?  I know Paul suffered a lot of trials.  He was always ge…

Better than my breakroom

Well, I'm finally being left alone.  Thank God. 

For me, the fact that my boundaries were repeatedly crossed after I asked to be left alone "for 6 months" indicates, so me, I'd better just cut off contact for good.  It's not for me to "save" her, assuming I wanted the job.  She has to get rid of the idols in her life and turn to God. 

Anything can be an idol - anything you put before God.  Bible Handouts could be one.  Ron, definitely.  Like I said, up to her now. 

On an amusing and exasperating note:  The postal workers are very excited about the remodel because the gossip mill has them putting in a full service cafeteria!  They won't hear anything to the contrary, and keep asking me about the menus, etc. 

This, in spite of the fact that NO postal processing facility in the nation has a hot food stand.  In spite of the fact that the construction manager (surrounded by a swarm of ubiquitous lackeys) told me, personally, "We are not doing an…

Two battles

Well, tonight's the night I talk about a couple of things I had planned to keep private. 

Ron has been wonderful - good news. 

First issue, my sister is involved in a cult.  She is making bad decisions about other things and her life is just sliding downhill.  I told her, as a result, I needed a break because I don't agree with any of her decisions.  Negativity is a huge burden, takes me days to recover.  Please don't contact me for 6 months. 

In a week, she has tried to contact me 4 times.  That seems kind of stalkery to me, especially for a person who has gone weeks to years between contact. 

I am seriously contemplating cutting off ALL contact.  She cannot respect my boundaries - that's a relationship killer for me. 

It is frustrating.  My phone, a very simple one, has a single ringtone, so I have to take it out and look at it every time before I answer.

AGH. 

The other issue, as you know, when we lost our stockroom Ron made a begging phone call.  We were given…

Video blog

Day was way too long to type out. I also had horrible cramps all day too.

Catch us working

I used to wish I could get my illness under control so I could finally run the business the way it deserved.  The last couple months, we've been doing that.  We may have about half the machines we used to service, but they are well managed. 

So, what does my work day look like these days?  I get up 2 hours before the pickup time.  I might hit the snooze button a time or two. 

Torbie cat is probably sleeping with me, but she gets up when the alarm sounds.  I get up, brush my teeth and hair, and take my shower. 

Since I use the Pantene Ultimate 10 shampoo/conditioner combo, the haircare aspect isn't bad.  I get out, dry off, deodorant, brush my hair again.  I let it air dry while I do my God Time. 

I hang out on the couch with Torbie and God, read my Bible, pray, takes a while.  I give Torbie a few treats as we progress. 

I get up and get dressed.  Today was cold so I wore my long undies under my jeans.  I was sure glad I did. 

Then I eat breakfast, something to hold the W…

Walk away happy

I just had to deal with a work politics/customer service issue. 

I don't enjoy tattling, but if Ron confronts you on the issue, you basically tell me to stick it, and then leave things worse - then I will.  It's my job, my business, too. 

I had Ron's approval. 

I don't think a lot of business owners share my opinions about serving my customers.  Customers are my life.  Without them, I'm dead and so's my business.  So, I should do whatever I can to encourage them to come, to make the visit a pleasant experience, and do my damndest to make sure they're walking away happy. 

If I'm not, I don't deserve their business.  I certainly don't deserve your money. 

But, a lot of the time, I see very apathetic small business owners, taking their customers for granted and acting like they're "entitled" to sales.  No, you're not.  Every coin someone drops in your box is a gift.  You have to earn it. 

So, someone comes into work.  They s…

The better life

Envy is a sin. 

Proverbs 14:30
A sound heart is life to the body, But envyis rottenness to the bones. Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; I still let it affect me, though.  One stumble for me is looking at a "normal" woman, presumably has it together, able to have kids and raise them well, able to drive, able to work pretty much any job she wants, no mood disorder, no hallucinations, no brain damage.  I imagine her perfect life, her perfect house, and just want to whine "Why me?" Today I had an insight into that life.  I was at the post office.  A woman was standing in line in front of me, very harried.  She was trying to fill out postal paperwork for a clearly "important" letter, while on the phone with her car dealership about "service".  She needed a loaner, they didn't have any available.  "Well, then, I need to rent a car" she said with exasperation.  Other th…

I want to be a good vendor.

I've been busy and depressed.  Not a good duo.  I have battled this depression for about a month and I'm ready for it to end. 

Ron made a joke about stun gun do it myself therapy, and I was actually tempted for a minute.  {I don't own a stun gun}

So, today, properly medicated, this will be more in the random thoughts. 

We went to work yesterday.  Work, warehouse, back to work and stocking.  We had no power in our stockroom so I had to have the blind man find things for me.  Pretty funny. 

The weather has been chilly, upper 30's to low 40's, drizzly.  Ron kept us home Friday and Saturday due to even worse weather (high winds).   Imagine waiting for an hour, outside, in the rain and cold with a horrendous wind.  Yeah.  It sucks.  I was delighted to accept the days off. 

We, of course, had to go in after that.  Sure enough, a machine was down.  The electricians apparently work on the weekend and cut off power to the food machine for longer than 4 hours, which trig…